Europa League football returns this week, and Tottenham, currently 3rd in the Premier League, face Belgium side Gent, who sit 8th in the Belgian First Division, the Jupiler League. It represents Tottenham’s first game in the competition after they were knocked out of the Champions League group stages.
The fixture promises to be an interesting contest, with both sides coming into the game having not enjoyed the best of form recently. Tottenham travel to Gent on the back of a poor display against Liverpool, in which they lost 2-0, whilst the Belgian side lost their last game 1-0 at home against relegation threatened Eupen.
Despite this loss, Gent’s overall home form has been good this season. This recent defeat against Eupen marks just their third defeat in 19 games in all competitions this season. It should prove a difficult place for Tottenham to go. The hosts can also take something from the fact that Spurs are winless in four matches in Belgium and have struggled when playing away in the Europa League in recent seasons, having only won one of their seven away fixtures.
KAA Gent predicted starting XI Tottenham predicted starting XI
Gent are expected to spring no surprises against Spurs and will likely field the same lineup that has served them well so far in the competition. Danijel Milicevic and Kalifa Coulibaly will be hoping to continue their good form in the competition adding to the three goals they have scored so far in Europa League.
Tottenham, meanwhile, are likely to field a similar lineup to the one that lost to Liverpool. Victor Wanyama is expected to make way for 21-year-old Harry Winks who recently signed a new contract with the club. The Englishman will partner Mousa Dembélé in central midfield. The Belgian is expected to be the driving force through the centre and certainly offers more going forward than Wanyama.
Injuries and suspensions
Gent have no injury or suspension concerns, although midfielder Renato Neto is one yellow card away for suspension.
The Belgian side will be a full strength outfit and will look for a positive result to take with them to White Hart Lane.
As for Tottenham, Danny Rose and Jan Vertonghen remain injured, two key players within this Spurs’ side. Meanwhile, Erik Lamela is still short of match fitness.
Having come off that poor display at Liverpool, Tottenham will do very well to get a win at Gent and also break their poor away form in the competition. The Belgian side’s home form is outstanding and they will be doing everything to make sure they are still in the contest after the first 90 minutes.
Gent 1-2 Tottenham.
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